Folding Clouds And Hoovering Hills - interactive artworks for kids
Children's show brings music and installations to Glasgow Tramway
Given the amount of inclement weather Scotland ‘enjoys’, there are often times when we wish the great outdoors could be magically transported inside. Wandering through the new installation in Glasgow’s Tramway, you’d be forgiven for thinking it had been. Created by Giant Productions, Folding Clouds and Hoovering Hills takes the sights, sounds and smells of outside and brings them in. Aimed at families with children aged 12 and under, the interactive artworks were born out of workshops held with local children, as Giant’s artistic director Maria McCavana explains.
‘We were really interested in collaborating with kids and gathering up their ideas,’ she says, ‘after which the artists went away to create the installations. Now, those kids are coming back to give us feedback on how we’ve worked with their ideas, so it’s been a really nice exchange between the artists and the children.’ As part of the process, a sound artist took the children into Tramway’s inspirational Hidden Garden to record the noises around them, which were then manipulated to create unique but still recognisable sounds. ‘Those have gone into the “Sound Dome”,’ explains McCavana, ‘where children visiting the installation can listen to them, and also have have the opportunity to create their own music and sounds on instruments and objects.’
Smells come courtesy of the herbs and flowers the children planted in the Hidden Garden, which have since been transplanted in between the tram lines of Tramway 5, along with mysterious aromas that will appear and disappear throughout the day. While the eponymous ‘folding clouds’ have been created by photographs taken of the sky and suspended in the air. Open to the public, and absolutely free, the installation is there for everyone to enjoy – children and adults. Unlike most exhibitions, however, touching is positively encouraged.
‘It’s very hands on,’ says McCavana. ‘We want the people who visit Folding Clouds to move about inside the installations, construct things, create their own music and really take part in it. It’s an interactive experience – you wander in, make your mark and leave. Then once the day is over and everybody has had fun, we’ll put everything back in its place, ready for the next day.’
Tramway, Glasgow, Sat 24 Jul-Sun 15 Aug